The shortage of GPs would be alarming if people had not already got used to the idea of lengthy waits for appointments. Often, and increasingly, the visits are needless because no decision will be made anyway unless you see that very expensive consultant you are referred to and so on.
I spoke with a GP in a rural town a year or two ago and he told me what fascinated city medical students working with him for a stint was the decisions he made and the range of hands-on stuff he did, from stitching up to sometimes having to deliver a baby.
Doctors no longer do that kind of work, let’s face it. Nurses do more and more of the hands-on stuff. Now care and nursing assistants are doing some of the stuff nurses once did. Another category below the care assistants will have to be found when the points for the care assistants course goes up. And on, and on, and on. Soon nobody will be doing anything anyway – and we may as well stick to Dr Google.
I was intrigued last year to see how a rural practice in south Kerry was quite easily filled when a bureaucratic sticking plaster was removed and a Spanish doctor who was eminently qualified was allowed succeed to the post.
A Hungarian doctor is shortly to fill the Waterville position, is my understanding. Two weeks ago, I asked the HSE where they advertise GP posts. I asked if they did so in line with EU rules on works contracts, which means that public contracts for goods and services over a certain value would have to be advertised across Europe in the Official Journal of the European Union. You can still advertise in the journal even if it is under the contract price, is my understanding.
The answer I got surprised me. The HSE has always argued that it advertises widely, tirelessly and “internationally” for GPs. Which I have no doubt it does. Except it is only advertising widely and tirelessly in Ireland and the UK. “What?” I asked. “You can’t be serious!”
Yes. The HSE is a depressingly serious organisation. Now, I do not keep a very close eye on the UK, I have little interest in the place, but even I know there is a dire shortage of GPs all over the UK. There is a dire shortage here. Full marks for the HSE then.
Meanwhile, this is the reply I got to my question on how GPs are recruited and advertised for:
The purpose of our recruitment is to ensure that eligible patients in the GMS scheme receive quality general practitioner medical services. Cork Kerry Community Healthcare locally and the HSE generally are fully aware of the need to promote and advertise all vacant permanent GMS panels both nationally and internationally. The standard practice is to place an advertisement in the Irish Medical Journal, the British Medical Journal, as well as national newspapers. If the first advertisement campaign is not successful it is repeated.
And there you have it.
The HSE also said the same job specification applies to all GP posts, whether the applicants are from within or outside Ireland. This ensures that all successful candidates are fully trained and experienced for the role.
They went on to tell me of the general requirements, which include ability to speak English.
Should an applicant meet all these requirements, be they Irish or otherwise, they would be considered for interview and appointment.
The bottom line in all of this is the HSE is not advertising Europe-wide for GPs. And if it did, it might well have better luck. The question is: why isn’t it? And why arent't GPs here encouraging such a move?
Meanwhile, despite the dire warnings about all the GPs who are going to retire in the future, when we might all be dead anyway, the HSE tells me, “as of this moment” there is only one area vacant, in Waterville, Co Kerry. An appointment date of early May for the new permanent GP has been agreed.
Try a universal contour wrap
It’s that time of the year again – New Year’s resolutions and plans to get the health and fitness levels in check. Which in turn always improves mood, energy levels and that fabulous just-worked-out glow to your skin, which is super anti-ageing. It even helps in collagen and elastin production. As we age and the […]
It’s that time of the year again – New Year’s resolutions and plans to get the health and fitness levels in check.
Which in turn always improves mood, energy levels and that fabulous just-worked-out glow to your skin, which is super anti-ageing. It even helps in collagen and elastin production. As we age and the body slows down, so does cell growth. It’s a proven fact that movement increasing circulation and improves skin age and glow….
Even if it’s just a 30-minute walk, it will get the blood flowing and the skin glowing.
If you need a little motivation, a push in the right direction, or if you have been losing weight steady for a little while, this exercise wrap is the thing for you.
Suitable for both male and female, it will help to tighten skin, even out its appearance, and detox the body which helps you to lose weight, especially when combined with a healthy food plan. It’s massively motivating to plan the week’s food and choose healthy options where possible when you feel accountable to someone else.
One body wrap is great, but a course of three body wraps is amazing. We recommend doing one a week for three weeks, while following a low-calorie healthy food plan (no skipping meals).
Sea clay will be applied to your skin, and bandages wrapped on in a specific technique to lift and tighten the skin. Electrodes are applied, giving a light pulsing to the core and thighs, and finally you are tucked up into a heated blanket.
You will feel amazing after all that! An Indian head massage or facial can also be added to the treatment.
Here’s the science bit – Key ingredients of sea clay: Bentonie has excellent draining properties for full body detox, skin clarification and purification; Magnesium Sulphate stimulates peripheral skin circulation, exfoliating and anti-inflammatory; Magnesium Chloride is a valuable mineral salt that permits cellular balance, combats stress and fluid retention, anti-bacterial properties; Zinc Oxide has bacterium properties and anti–inflammatory agents; and Sodium Chloride detoxifies tissues and tightens the skin.
To make an appointment or for more information call Jill on 064-6632966
Important date reminders about CAO applications
The normal closing date for CAO applications is on February 1 at 5pm, so it is really important that any students applying from Leaving Certificate, Further Education or as Mature Applicants are clear on the deadlines and application process. Before you start make sure to look at the CAO handbook which is available as in […]
The normal closing date for CAO applications is on February 1 at 5pm, so it is really important that any students applying from Leaving Certificate, Further Education or as Mature Applicants are clear on the deadlines and application process.
Before you start make sure to look at the CAO handbook which is available as in interactive flipbook or to download from www.cao.ie, which also has a lot of resources to help applicants and parents.
To register, log on to www.cao.ie and click on Apply, it will ask you first to input your personal and contact details along with the category of applicant you are. Once you create a password and submit payment you receive you CAO number which means you are registered. It is advisable to go through the Demo Version of the CAO form first which is available on their website in the ‘Student Resources’ section.
Applicants who register before January 20 at 5pm will be charged the discounted application fee of €30, which increases to €45 up to February 1. Once you have registered you have until February 1st to add and change your courses, free of charge. On May 5, the Change of Mind facility will open and you will have the change to change your courses, with certain restrictions, up to July 1 at 5pm.
You have the option of filling in 20 courses in total – 10 choices on level 8 (Honours Bachelor Degrees) and 10 on level 7/6 (Ordinary Bachelor Degrees / Higher Certificates) and it is advisable to fill as many as you can to give yourself the best chance of being offered a place on a course you like.
It is essential though that you research carefully all the courses you are going to include. Often students are careful about their first couple of choices but don’t research the courses that are further down the list well enough. Don’t make this mistake. Every course you put down should be one that you are genuinely interested in and willing to do so consider all options carefully. The majority of level 7/6 courses have progression routes onto level 8.
Order of Preference
This is the golden rule of the CAO and a very common mistake made by students every year. Always put down your courses in order of preference, not in the order of the points from the previous year. Points for courses change each year and you will not know the points for 2022 until the day that the Round 1 offers are issued by CAO, which is usually a couple of days after the Leaving Cert results come out. Also you don’t know what points you are going to get until those results come out and it will be too late to make changes to your CAO application at that stage.
Restrictions for the February 1 deadline
While you will get the opportunity to change your course choices later in the year, there are certain restrictions to take note of regarding the February 1st deadline. If you are applying for ‘restricted courses’ they must be added in by February 1as they require some other form of assessment apart from Leaving Cert points such as an aptitude test or a portfolio.
Such assessments are usually carried out between February & April. Students who are applying for Medicine must apply to do the HPAT by January 21 on https://hpat-ireland.acer.org/.
Any students applying for the HEAR (Higher Education Access Route) or DARE (Disability Access Route to Education) schemes must have applied to CAO by February 1.
You then have until March the 1st to complete those applications and up to March 15 to have supporting documentation sent to CAO (see www.accesscollege.ie). In the case of mature applicants, most HEIs (Higher Education Institutions) require applications to be in by the February 1 deadline.
Niamh Dwyer is a Guidance Counsellor in Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra, Rathmore, and Chairperson of the Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors. She is also a Career Consultant – For details see www.mycareerplan.ie or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Try a universal contour wrap
It’s that time of the year again – New Year’s resolutions and plans to get the health and fitness levels...
Important date reminders about CAO applications
The normal closing date for CAO applications is on February 1 at 5pm, so it is really important that any...
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